Getting the Most Out of Jesus’ Final Week
Once every year the church calendar calls us to walk through the events of the final week of Jesus’ life. We celebrate Palm Sunday with exuberance. We weep through Good Friday. We eagerly await Easter day.
Many of the events of this final week will be familiar to you. But you may find it helpful to study them in order, gaining a bit of perspective from each of the four Gospel writers. You’ll end up with a more well-rounded perspective of what God was doing in that week that changed our world.
These studies will be of great benefit to you any time. But you may want to give special consideration to using them during your preparation for Easter. In some church traditions we prepare for Easter all in the space of one packed week. In other traditions a Lenten period of quiet reflection begins forty days earlier with Ash Wednesday observations. Whichever your tradition, this guide can be a resource for you. You can go through one study a week on your own or in a small group during the weeks of Lent. Or you can go through a study each day the week before Easter to prepare for the glorious day of resurrection.
As you look at the contents page, you’ll note that there are no studies for Wednesday or Saturday. Wednesday appears to be a day of rest for Jesus—no biblical events are recorded. Likewise, there are no texts describing what Saturday, the day between crucifixion and resurrection, was like. Thursday is split into two studies as there’s much ground to cover. And the final study begins a new week—celebrating the resurrection.
May you gain insight and wisdom from following the path to the cross—the path that Jesus, King of all kings and Suffering Servant, walked for us.
Cindy Bunch, ed., Jesus’ Final Week: 8 Studies for Individuals or Groups: With Notes for Leaders, A LifeGuide Bible Study (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Connect: An Imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2000), 4–5.